Citadelle Gin Review

Citadelle Gin is produced in Cognac in France using a recipe dating back to around 1771. This current version has been in production since 1989 and is a quadruple distilled London Gin. It won a gold award at the IWSC in 2012.

The first three distillations take place in a column still where the base wheat spirit is created. The fourth and final distillation, with the 19 botanicals that make up the Citadelle signature flavour, takes place in a 200 litre copper pot over naked flame.

The botanicals used to make Citadelle are juniper, violet root, coriander, almond, lemon rind, orange peel, angelica, cardamom, cassia bark, cinnamon, liquorice, grains of paradise, cubeb, cumin, savory, star anise, nutmeg, fennel and orris root.

The gin is bottled at 44% ABV and the bottle itself is a silk screen printed nautical themed affair with a light blue tint that is really quite attractive. We were sent some small 50ml sample bottles that are also very pretty.

Citadelle also produce a Citadelle Reserve which we will comment on in a separate review.

As mentioned the ABV is 44% but as per some other gins when smelling and tasting Citadelle you could be forgiven for thinking it is lower.

The aroma from the bottle is very floral and creamy. Not overpowering in either juniper or alcohol. I found myself sniffing the bottle quite a bit as it has a pleasant aroma.

So how does it taste?

Neat – initially a large rush of floral hits you, followed quite quickly by spice and peppery warmth. That initial hit is very powerful and took me a little by surprise. Not unpleasant but compared to the subtlety of the aroma it was a shock.

With Tonic – A totally different ballgame. There is still the floral hit but it is tamed by the tonic. I used Fever Tree Indian Tonic Water and would probably shy away from the Mediterranean version with this gin as it is floral enough already. The added geranium from the Mediterranean Tonic would, I suspect, be overkill. The spicy peppery finish is still there and gives this gin a delightfulness that I enjoyed thoroughly. I found myself drinking quite quickly as the taste really is very pleasant and I found myself wanting to pour another.

Perhaps a bit surprisingly this gin has made it on to my favourites list. I say surprising because I so wanted to not like it. That may sound perverse, but there was just something about a French gin in a blue nautical bottle that made me want to hate it, but I just can’t. Citadelle has won me over.

So where can I pick up a bottle or two when I am running short? A good question.

The Drink Shop stock it for £27.99 for a 70cl bottle (plus postage).

Master of Malt stock it for £28.45 for a 70cl bottle (plus postage).

The Whisky Exchange stock it for £28.49 (plus postage)

Bibendum Fine Wine stock it for £28.81 per bottle.

It is stocked by some bars around the country, but don’t expect to find it at your local unless it happens to be Graphic Bar or another of its ilk.

Marks out of ten for:

Taste 8/10 – Smooth and well balanced, this is a delicious gin that is a pleasure to drink. We recommend it and will definitely buy more.

Price 8/10 – For what you get in the bottle the price seems about right.

Availability 1/10 – Currently limited availability unless your local gin bar stocks it (in which case for you it is a higher rating).

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